Bye Bye Clutter
A major contributor to a cluttered look is having too much furniture. When professional stagers prepare a home for the market, they often remove as much as half the furnishings, and the house looks much bigger for it. Ask yourself what you can live without.
Get your house Sparkling Clean.
From shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle. This is the easiest way to help your home put its best foot forward. You may want to hire pros to do some of the really tough stuff, especially if you have a large house. Don't skimp — this step is key!
As it turns out, many of our homes are improperly lighted. To remedy the problem, increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures. Aim for a total of 100 watts for each 50 square feet. Don't depend on just one or two fixtures per room, either.
Neutral and Appealing
Painting a room a fresh neutral color helps tone down any dated finishes in the space. These days, the definition of neutral extends way beyond beige, from warm tans and greys to soft blue-greens. Avoid bold wall colors, they have a way of reducing offers.
Clean up toys.
Of course there will be families with children looking at your home, but just because they have kids too, doesn't mean seeing toys strewn everywhere will sell them on the place. When people are house hunting, they are imagining a fresh start.
With an inviting porch, even if you have only a tiny stoop, make it say "Welcome Home" with a clean doormat, potted plants in bloom if you have room. Keep your porch lights on in the evenings, in case potential buyers drive by.
Stage the outdoors too.
Even if your condo has only a teensy postage stamp–size balcony, play it up with a cute café table and chairs, a cheerful tablecloth, and even a little tray of dishes or a vase of flowers. When people look at this scene, they won't be thinking "small," they will be thinking, "What a charming spot to have breakfast!"
Create a lifestyle...
Generally speaking, you want to play up what your neighborhood or area is known for. Have a house in a quiet, grassy suburb? Hanging a hammock in your backyard and a bench swing on your porch could be the perfect touch.
Beware pet odors.
Really, this can be a big one! If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming, and washing surfaces. Also be sure to keep any extra-loved pet toys and doggie bones hidden when tours are scheduled.